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Robot fault-tolerance using an embryonic array

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3 Author(s)
Jackson, A.H. ; Dept. of Electron., Univ. of York, UK ; Canham, R. ; Tyrrell, A.M.

Fault-tolerance, complex structure management and reconfiguration are seen as valuable characteristics. Embryonic arrays represent one novel approach that takes inspiration from nature to improve upon standard techniques. An existing BAE SYSTEMS RASCAL™ robot has been augmented so as to improve the motor control system reliability through two biologically-inspired systems: an embryonic array and an artificial immune system. This paper is concerned with the embryonic array; this is novel in that it supports datapath-wide arithmetic and logic functions. The array is configured to provide an autonomous self-repairing hardware motor controller and is realized using a standard Xilinx Virtex FPGA. As with previous embryonic systems, the logic requirement of the array is greater than that of a conventional FPGA or standard modular-redundancy approach. However, the array offers the advantages of both conventional FPGAs and modular-redundancy techniques. It is a reconfigurable computing platform that provides inherent fault-tolerance through its distributed self-repair mechanism.

Published in:

Evolvable Hardware, 2003. Proceedings. NASA/DoD Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-11 July 2003